Steelers second-best rookie: Joey Porter
I’ll be the first to say that I expected Joey Porter to struggle more in his first preseason with the team. While Porter is gifted with rare size and length, he tended to be a little grabby in school. Add in some inconsistencies in coverage and I firmly expected some overreactions from a few poor practices.
That really wasn’t the case. Sure, Porter allowed some big plays to get by in practice, but he never let them stack. Every bad play was followed up by a good one, and Porter showed the rare ability to have a short memory as a defensive back.
His battles with George Pickens were the highlight of training camp. Every day the two seemed to be the talk of everyone coming out of practice. While Pickens seemingly won the war, that is to be expected. Pickens has shown the ability to be an elite receiver already, so the fact that Porter held his own often is a good sign.
His play in the preseason was also strong. While I would have liked to see him get more snaps, Porter made the most of what he was given. This included an interception against the Bills, albeit, it was a lob right into his hands, and high grades in coverage.
At this point, signs seem to point to Porter being a primary starter as an outside cornerback early in this season. That isn’t a knock against Levi Wallace either, as Porter has made a strong case to have that role. You have to like what you saw from the talented second-round pick in camp.